Community Energy

The UK energy sector is in the process of rapid change as it rises to the challenge of meeting the legally- binding target of reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.  Local communities are critical in this shift of facilitating more renewable energy and heat generation, whilst supporting local people with energy efficiency advice and support.
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What is Community Energy?

Community Energy refers to a diverse range of community-led energy initiatives with local engagement, leadership, benefit and control at their heart. As the energy landscape changes, so has the focus of community energy projects. The focus has shifted from solely generating and purchasing electricity to a whole system approach which includes tackling local fuel poverty through energy efficiency support, reducing energy use, and providing local energy advice services.

To find more information about community energy, visit the Community Energy England website.

Solar panels on the roof of Brixton flats
Community battery and solar installation on Brixton apartments

How we support Community Energy

Engage

Engage

We work with community energy groups, charities and local organisations to share and learn from examples of best practice, provide energy efficiency advice and advise on the most efficient way communities can reduce their carbon emissions.

Collaborate and Innovate

Collaborate and Innovate

In an increasingly interconnected energy system, collaboration is essential. Partnerships are an invaluable model in supporting communities to secure suitable sites for energy development and sharing the technical knowledge needed to implement projects.

Connect and Flex

Connect and Flex

From communities installing solar panels to local authorities planning to install public electric vehicle charge points, we aim to make the process of connecting to our network as straightforward as possible, and encourage energy assets to take part in our growing Flexibility market.

Supporting community energy groups

Supporting community energy groups

We know that access to funding is one of the key challenges for community energy groups. Our Power Partners scheme provides grants for impactful projects and our Priority Services Register (PSR) ensures we support customers in vulnerable circumstances during power cuts.

Power Partners

To help community organisations help customers who need us the most, we run a £300,000 per year grant scheme Power Partners with the support of the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). The fund provides grants of between £2,000 and £20,000 to not-for-profit organisations in our region. Community projects the fund has supported include energy efficiency advice and interventions, tariff switching and time of use tariff awareness, new registrations for the Priority Services Register; provision of energy advice training and Support for frontline workers.

To find out more about our Power Partners scheme and how to bid for future funding rounds visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

Person receiving energy efficiency advice
Providing energy efficiency advice to residents during a drop in at a local foodbank.

Examples of how we work with our communities

Smart Meter monitor on kitchen counter
Charities secure more than £175,000 to combat fuel poverty during Covid-19

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Person insulating heater
£20,000 donation to help Brighton and Hove residents in cold homes

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Advice for renters, Warm Home, Cool Planet
Brent families set to receive Covid-19 support to escape fuel poverty

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Citizens receiving energy advice at home
Cambridge households helped to avoid fuel poverty

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Call advisor with computer and headset
£20,000 grant to combat fuel poverty in Rother and Eastbourne

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power workers delivering food parcels
Power worker delivers food parcels to families in need across Hastings

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People in radio station studio
Luton radio station ready to fight fuel poverty 

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Ground force advisor with a customer
Bridging the digital divide


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Fuel poverty advisors from Green Doctors
Green Doctors write prescription to fight fuel poverty

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Community Energy Projects

  • Energywise

    The award-wining Energywise project explored how DNOs can work collaboratively with energy suppliers and local trusted organisations to deliver appropriate services to communities of low income households who may be struggling with their energy bills.

    Find out more
  • Urban Energy Club

    Urban Energy Club is finding out how giving residents of a block of flats virtual shares in a battery connected to the property’s rooftop solar panels can help them cut their energy costs 

    Find out more
  • Home Response

    A two-year trial, part of London’s Energy for Londoners programme, which will test flexible energy solutions in around 160 London homes. This includes using solar panels with battery storage technology and electricity for heating water. 

    Find out more
  • Energy Garden

    A scheme to give opportunities to unemployed young people, helping to give them professional and life skills for a future in the energy industry  

    Find out more
  • Communiheat

    We’re working with the community of Barcombe, East Sussex,  to create a low carbon heating blueprint for off-gas grid communities. The village could hold one of the keys to helping the UK reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Find out more
  • Connect to our network

    Want to connect something new to our network? Whether you’re a domestic or commercial customer visit our Connections hub to find out how to apply for a new electricity connection.

    Find out more

Contact us

Enquiries from Local Authorities

If you are part of the local authority within our coverage area and would like to get in touch, you can email our Public Affairs Manager who will arrange to contact you back. 

Community Energy enquiries

Got a question or want to find out more about how we can support your community energy project? Send us an email and one of our team will contact you back with more information.

Connecting to our electricity network 

Have you got a renewable energy project and wish to connect to our electricity network? Send us an email and we will arrange for our team to contact you back.